The SFFaudio Podcast #055

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #055 – Jesse and Scott talk to Jack J. Ward of The Sonic Society podcast about audio drama.

Talked about on today’s show:
Electric Vicuna, The Library Of Jack And Shannon, Sonic Gold, Shannon Hilchie, audio drama is the hardest kind of podcasting, Phil Morris: Celestial Lawyer, Robert E. Howard, Conan, The Muse Of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft, The Deadline, The Twilight Zone, Darker Musings, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wavefront, Rod Serling, recording methods, BrokenSea Audio Productions, Decoder Ring Theatre, community theater, modern audio drama, amateur audio drama, Sonic Gold, paid subscription podcasts, Colonial Radio Theatre, Radio Repertory Company Of America, Jim French Productions, AM/FM Theatre, Powder River, Captain Blood, King Solomon’s Mines, adapting public domain stories to audio drama, CPI vs. BrokenSea, adapting modern novels, Voyage by Stephen Baxter, BBC, licensing Zorro, Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason, imagine Ringworld as an audio drama, LibriVox, The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley, Rick Jackson, The Time Traveler Show podcast, Science Fiction Oral History Association, Spaceship Radio podcast, Dimension-X, X-Minus One, OTR Swag Cast, The Radio Memories Network, Sci Fi Friday podcast, Wander Radio interview with Jack Ward, J.C. Hutchins, Commentary: Amateur Audio Drama & What’s Wrong With It, generational differences, Sage RSS for Firefox, Sonic Society in the Summer, Gate, The First Nighter Program, Bill Hollweg, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Howard Hawks, Bringing Up Baby, Audio Drama Review blog, James Snowe, Jerry Stearns, Sound Affects, KFAI, the Audio Drama Talk forums, carpeting the audio drama world, Jerry Robbins, Groucho Marx, audio drama or audio theater, subtract the narrator, Dirk Maggs, Superman: Doomsday and Beyond |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Adventures Of Superman |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hunter, Kung-Fu Action Theatre, Star Trek and Star Wars audiobooks, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, serial storytelling, Full Cast Audio, Graphic Audio, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson |READ OUR REVIEW|, Searcher & Stallion, audiobooks with sound effects SUCK, podiobooks.com, Tom Swiftians, J.K. Rowling, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark, the Elmore Leonard school of writing, audio drama vs. audiobooks, Matt Watts, The Gemini Apes by Drik Maggs, Batman: Nightfall, Christopher Lee, An American Werewolf In London |READ OUR REVIEW|, BBC radio drama, The Lord Of The Rings, The Bradbury 13, A Sound Of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, Brigham Young University, A Gun For Dinosaur, CBC radio drama, Nightfall, Vanishing Point, Booster McCrane, P.M. by Paul Ledoux, Alan Maitland (aka Fireside Al, Frontporch Al, Graveside Al), The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth, Paul Gross, H2O, Due South, strong>Psi Factor Chronicles Of The Paranormal, Matt Frewer, Intelligence, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Men With Brooms, The Trojan Horse, Johnny Chase Secret Agent Of Space, Jeffrey Adams, The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al, Cato the Elder.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Aural Noir Review of the Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Aural Noir: Review

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Edited by John Joseph Adams; Read by Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik, John Joseph Adams (uncredited)
18 CDs – 22 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 1441839070
Themes: / Mystery / Crime / Alternate History / Science Fiction / Horror / 19th Century / London /

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This famous Sherlock Holmes quote is the impetus which drives this intelligent, inventive, and at times irreverent compilation of Sherlock Holmes stories written in the last few decades. As John Joseph Adams explains in his introduction, his aim in compiling these stories is to explore the uneasy peace between the cold clear logic of the deerstalker-wearing, pipe-smoking detective and the unanswered, perhaps unanswerable mysteries which continue to thwart human investigation to this very day. While many of the stories miss the mark of this goal entirely, the collection as a whole succeeds in pushing Holmes in new directions while staying true to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’s original work.

The stories in this collection fall into one of three categories. First, there are the traditional mysteries. These are stories that, with but slight alteration, might easily have found a home among Conan Doyle’s own work. The best of these tales expand upon characters or cases mentioned in the original œuvre only in passing. Mrs. Hudson’s Case by Laurie R. King, for instance, features Holmes’s protégé Mary Russell as its protagonist and reveals the character of Holmes’s long-suffering landlady. Edward D. Hoch’s A Scandal In Montreal, meanwhile, reunites Sherlock Holmes with his sometime nemesis Irene Adler. As a whole, however, this category fits rather uneasily into the collection because, by and large, there is little in the way of “the improbable” in any of these stories. All are well-written and most are engaging; they simply miss the point.

The second category I would call historical, or pseudo-historical. In most respect these stories are similar to those of the first category, with one redeeming addition: Sherlock Holmes crosses paths with historical figures from the Victorian era. Stephen Baxter’s The Adventure of the Inertial Adventure sees our detective join forces with author of scientific romances H.G. Wells, while Tony Pi’s Dynamics Of A Hanging brings mathematician Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) into the Holmesian world. The highlight of this grouping, though, is The Adventure Of The Field Theorem by Vonda N. McIntyre, in which Sherlock Holmes investigates crop circles at the behest of none other than Arthur Conan Doyle.

The last category throws Sherlock Holmes–and let’s not forget Doctor Watson, through whose eyes we see most of these tales unfold–into genres as wide-ranging as alternate history, horror, and science fiction. Subjectively, I liked these stories best because they fall into genres which I most commonly read. Objectively, these stories succeed because they deliver on the promise of “improbable adventures.” The collection opens with a chilling tale by horror master Tim Lebbon, which unlike most Holmes stories is never intellectually resolved. The Singular Habits Of Wasps by Geoffrey A. Landis, perhaps my favorite story in the collection, puts a fascinating otherworldly spin on the mysterious murders of Jack the Ripper. Robert J. Sawyer’s closing story, You See But You Do Not Observe, pits Holmes’s intellect against the fermi paradox concerning extraterrestrial life. The collection is worth the price of admission for these entries alone.

Simon Vance carries the bulk of the narration, with Anne Flosnik reading only a few stories featuring female protagonists. Flosnik performs solidly in her few appearances. Simon Vance’s portrayal of Holmes and Watson is spot-on; the former speaks with a whip-sharp voice, while the latter lumbers along in a more lugubrious manner. He falls short only when narrating the few “New World” characters who figure in the stories, but these cases are uncommon and Vance’s accent isn’t off by much. John Joseph Adams himself narrates the collection’s introduction, as well as introductory passages to each story.

Whether you’re a fan of mystery, history, or something further afield, chances are high you’ll find something to sate your appetite in The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I’ll venture out on a limb and say that visitors to this site will likely be most interested in the tales of speculative fiction. I assure you, in particular, that you’ll not be disappointed.

Posted by Seth Wilson

Recent Arrivals from Blackstone Audio

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Identity Theft by Robert J. SawyerIdentity Theft
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by Anthony Heald
2 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441716729

I HEART novellas!

Identity Theft is a hard-boiled detective novella set on Mars. It’s currently in development as a motion picture, and is a nominee for both the Nebula Award and Hugo Award.

Cassandra and Joshua Wilkins are fossil hunters who have both recently transferred their minds into artificial bodies, but now Joshua has mysteriously disappeared. Cassandra must hire Alex Lomax, the only private detective on the Red Planet, to locate Joshua before sinister forces get to him.
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - Time's Eye by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen BaxterTime’s Eye: A Time Odyssey, Book One
By Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter; Read by John Lee
10.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781433246043

For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind—until they act. In an instant, Earth’s timeline is carved up and reassembled into a patchwork of different eras, from prehistory to the year 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.

The only clue to the origin of this astonishing transformation lies in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037—three cosmonauts and three U.N. peacekeepers—have detected strange radio signals. As the peacekeepers ally with nineteenth-century British troops and the armies of Alexander the Great, the cosmonauts join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. Both sides set out for Babylon, determined to win the race for knowledge—and the power that lies within.
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - Treason by Orson Scott CardTreason
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
9.3 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781433228384

Lanik Mueller’s birthright as heir to planet Treason’s most powerful rulership will never be realized. He is a “rad”—radical regenerative—a freak who can regenerate injured flesh and trade extra body parts to the Offworld oppressors for iron. On a planet without hard metals, or the means of escape, iron offers the promise of freedom through the chance to build a spacecraft. But it is a promise which may never be fulfilled, as Lanik uncovers a treacherous conspiracy beyond his imagination. Now charged with a mission of conquest—and exile—Lanik devises a bold and dangerous plan to break the vicious chain of rivalry and bloodshed that enslaves the people of Treason.
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #049

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #049 – Jesse and Scott talk about recent arrivals, new releases, audiobooks, podcasts and plenty more!

Talked about on today’s show:
SFFaudio.com is 7 years old, So I Married An Axe Murder, San Fransisco, California, Alcatraz, recent arrivals, Brilliance Audio, military SF, Fearless: The Lost Fleet Book 2 by Jack Campbell, space opera, Gene Roddenberry‘s Andromeda, Buck Rogers, Live Free or Die: book 1 in the Troy Rising series by John Ringo, Paperback Digital, Cally’s War by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane |READ OUR REVIEW|, John Ringo can give his books away and sell books too, Time’s Eye: A Time Odyssey Book 1 by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, it’s not a sequel it’s an “othrquel“, time is orthogonal to space (in relativity theory), Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, benevolent aliens, malevolent aliens, H.P. Lovecraft, The Eternal Wall by Raymond Z. Gallun, LibriVox, Gregg Margarite, time travel, Blackstone Audio, Identity Theft by Robert J. Sawyer, Mars, consciousness uploading/downloading, Treason by Orson Scott Card, A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card, Stefan Rudnicki, Spider Robinson, Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson |READ OUR REVIEW|, copyright, copyfight, the philosophy of art, The Graveyard Book |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Harry Potter, The Dark Is Rising, A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, ripping off Heinlein is legit when you are Spider Robinson, Friday by Robert A. Heinlein, new releases, Wonder Audio, The Men Return & Worlds Of Origin by Jack Vance, Brilliance Audio, The Songs Of Dying Earth: Stories In Honor Of Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, The Book Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe, David D. Levine, Tk’Tk’Tk’ by David D. Levine, The Moon Moth by Jack Vance |READ OUR REVIEW|, Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc by Jack Vance, Swimming Kangaroo Books, Need For Magic by Joseph Swope, BBC Audiobooks America, Great Classic Science Fiction: Eight Unabridged Stories, Forgotten Classics podcast talks James Gunn’s The Road To Science Fiction series, paperback book bags, A Game Of Thrones coming to HBO, A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin |READ OUR REVIEW|, Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Shogun (the TV miniseries), FlashForward, Stephen King’s Storm Of The Century, 1408, Scott’s Pick Of The Week: Steve, The First by Matt Watts |READ OUR REVIEW|, @ the CBC store, radio drama, post apocalypse, humor, Canadia: 2056 |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Jesse’s Pick Of The Week: The Chronicles Of Solomon Kane, Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin, Robert E. Howard, The Iliad, Ralph Macchio, Red Shadows by Robert E. Howard, religion, Solomon Kane, The Punisher.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrival: Infinivox’s Year’s Top Ten!

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science FictionThe Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction
Edited by Allan Kaster
8 CDs – 9 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Infinivox
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781884612855

It’s no secret that we love a new Infinivox release around here. The squees of joy were a little embarrassing, though, when the latest title came in. A ten story collection, edited by Allan Kaster, called The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction. It’s like ten Infinivox releases at once!

Included are:

“Turing’s Apples” by Stephen Baxter
“Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear
“Exhalation” by Ted Chiang
“The Dream of Reason” by Jeffrey Ford
“The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner
“26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson
“The Art of Alchemy” by Ted Kosmatka
“The City of the Dead” by Paul McAuley
“Five Thrillers” by Robert Reed
“Fixing Hanover” by Jeff VanderMeer

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #031 – NEW RELEASES/AUDIOBOOK: Founding Fathers by Robert Bloch

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #031 – Jesse (that’s me) and Scott (my buddy) are again joined by Rick Jackson of Wonder Audio. We talk about audiobooks, new and newer, a little about radio drama, throw in some politics, some Canada bashing, and then add in two complete short stories. The first short story is read by me (it is only two sentences long) and the other runs about 40 minutes and is performed by a professional narrator. Enjoy it folks!

Talked about on today’s show:
Full Cast Audio, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Hugo Nominees, Young Adult novels, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins |READ OUR REVIEW|, On Basilisk Station by David Weber, Grover Gardner, Shards Of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, Barayar, The Honor Of The Queen, Paul W. Campbell, Honor Of The Clan by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane, Cally’s War, Audible Frontiers, Brilliance Audio, Paperback Digital, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Canterbury Tales, The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas, Black Library Audio, Warhammer 40,000: Heart Of Rage by James Swallow, Warhammer 40,000: Slayer Of The Storm God by Nathan Long, Infinivox, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction edited by Alan Kaster, Ted Chiang is awesome, Zombie Astronaut posts 5 adaptations of Knock by Frederic Brown, Earthmen Bearing Gifts, Expedition, Arena, Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men On The Moon by Craig Nelson, Penguin Audio, 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, Digital Apollo by David A. Mindell, MIT Press, Wernher von Braun, I Aim For The Stars (1960), Ascent by Jed Mercurio |READ OUR REVIEW|, Voyage by Stephen Baxter (and adapted by Dirk Maggs to radio drama), Four Sided Triangle by William F. Temple, Ray Bradbury, Damon Knight, William Coon, The Fabulous Clip-Joint by Frederic Brown, The Alcoholics by Jim Thompson, Audible.com/wonderaudio, Rule Golden by Damon Knight, Worlds Of The Imperium by Keith Laumer, Mark Douglas Nelson, This Crowded Earth and Other Stories by Robert Bloch, overpopulation, James Powell, The Vanishing Venusians by Leigh Brackett, noir, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lawrence Kasdan, Body Heat (1981), Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, Plague Of Pythons by Frederik Pohl, Passengers by Robert Silverberg, The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi, Old Man’s War, Zoe’s Tale, The Sagan Diaries, Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg |READ OUR REVIEW|, Stephan Rudnicki, Greg Margarite, LibriVox.org, Deathworld by Harry Harrison, Philip K. Dick, Andre Norton, William Coon, Amazon Kindle, ebooks, where the great lakes came from, Comics, The Iliad by Homer; Adapted by Roy Thomas, The Punisher: From First To Last by Garth Ennis, The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson, The Lies Of Loch Lamora by Scott Lynch = Lankhmar meets Oliver Twist, Harry Potter, Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, messiahs, clairvoyance, the dangers of charismatic leaders, Dune, Harkonnen government was poor management, BBC versions of the Falco books by Lindsey Davis, Radio Downloader, the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, The Name Of The Rose (1986), Umberto Eco.

And last, but not least, a complete short story, courtesy of Wonder Audio, by Robert Bloch:

This Crowded Earth and Other Stories by Robert BlochFounding Fathers
By Robert Bloch; Read by William Coon
Approx. 40 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: The SFFaudio Podcast
Podcast: July 20th, 2009
A humorous time travel tale.
First published in Fantastic Universe July 1956.

Get more Robert Bloch read by Willam Coon HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis